Press Picks

thursday
november 17
The Big Bayou City Biceps Bonanza A bevy of buff beefcake for Body Positive. See studs compete in "Mr. Sexiest Biceps in Houston," "Mr. Arm Wrestling Champion of Houston" and "Mr. Rocky Balboa One-Arm Push-Up Champion." Women will compete in Ms. versions of those contests and also the "Cindy Crawford Makeup Look-A-Like Contest." (We are disappointed there is no Mr. version of the last contest.) The Fitness Exchange is sponsoring this pageant and turning over proceeds to Body Positive, a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of those afflicted with HIV/AIDS and the people close to them. 5:30-8 p.m. Neo China Hunan Restaurant, 3910 Kirby. Call 522-6559 for details. $5 entry fee, $20 tickets.

Patrick Reynolds Out to protect our precious bodily fluids or simply trying to get back at granddaddy? We leave it to you to decide. Patrick Reynolds is the grandson of the late R.J. Reynolds and the co-author of The Guilded Leaf, a story of the Reynolds family, and he's certainly not uninformed when it comes to tobacco. He blames the weed for the death of his father and of his grandfather, and points to it as the source of endless human misery. Patrick is vehemently against smoking, having gone so far as to sell his R.J. Reynolds stock. He's using the money to finance his crusade -- and folks, we are talking about the kind of money that can get you listed in Forbes. The former pack-a-day smoker aims to make the United States a smoke-free society by the millennium. Thanks in part to Patrick's good works, smoking is banned on commercial planes. Now jets are smoke-free, and breathing cabin air is no more unpleasant than sucking oxygen from the nozzle of a blow dryer while an ice pick is lodged between your eyes. Hear Patrick speak about benzene and toluene and other items which may be components of environmental tobacco smoke, or just general ick in the air. Being educated is good because it's so very hard to decide what's right. Banning a simple vice seems to trample on civil rights; on the other hand, such a ban would ensure an end to photos of Rush Limbaugh smugly puffing a stogy. 7 p.m. Paul Revere Center, 10500 Briar Forest. For details, call 661-4589. Free.

friday
november 18
Krassimira Jordan At the tender age of seven, this Bulgarian native gave her first public recital. Since, she has gone on to play in Eastern and Western European capitals, the former U.S.S.R., China, Southeast Asia and the Americas. At one time a professor at the Vienna Academy of Music, Jordan is now with Baylor and giving this piano recital for the students of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The public is invited to attend and enjoy a program of Slavic works. Bohemian Bedrich Smetana's Dupak and Obkrocak; Bulgarian Pancho Vladigerov's Nocturno, Perpetuum mobile and Prelude; and Russian Rodion Shchedrin's Humoresque and Basso ostinato comprise the program. 11 a.m. HSPVA, 4001 Stanford, Alessandro Recital Hall, 522-9289. Free.

Tatyana's Golden Doe Houston educator, composer and playwright Kate Paxton has created a musical from Slavic folklore. The glacial cold of Russia is the scene for this fairy tale. In the latest offering from Express Theatre, our heroine, Tatyana, is a goodhearted girl whose family falls on hard times -- something that's often the fate of fairy tale families. In the fairy tale tradition, plucky Tatyana prevails. Mystical creatures also figure in the plot. There will be a reception at tonight's opening. 7 p.m. Subsequent performances at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through December 11. The Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 522-1138.$5. (Notetoparents:a "Children's Theater Pass," which includes 15 ticket vouchers that can be used in any combination at Express Theatre shows at the Children's Museum and provides discounts for Main Street Theater's Young People'sTheatre,StagesandUH Children's Theater Festival, is available. The pass is $50. Call Express Theatre for details, 759-1314.)

Roy Blount He's just a bug on the windshield of life, sometime contributor to Spy and cracker deluxe. Blount has, in his career, written about country and western music, what men don't tell women, why Wayne Newton's is bigger than yours, baseball names, gravy and responded to a question posed by Mademoiselle. He began his answer by saying, "I have looked deeply into my heart on this one, and then looked quickly away. I don't like looking deeply into my heart. It's like looking deeply into my filing system. Or my garage. There are interesting things in my garage -- just for starters, three chickens running around loose -- but you wouldn't ever want to go in there and try to sort them all out." This tidbit reveals his special knack for taking the folksy, common sensical approach and employing said approach to reveal that things are far more complex and incomprehensible than we had suspected. It also reveals his fondness for chickens; poultry is ever-present in his prose and poetry. Tonight, Blount signs copies of his latest book, and probably snuffles and is charmingly modest. This book, Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor, has a $27.50 list price. 8-9 p.m. Bookstop Galleria, 2501 Post Oak Boulevard, 627-9810.

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